After two decades of hostile confrontation, China and the United States initiated negotiations in the early 1970s to normalize relations. Senior officials of the Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations had little experience dealing with the Chinese, but they soon learned that their counterparts from the People’s Republic were skilled negotiators.

This study of Chinese negotiating behavior explores the ways senior officials of the PRC—Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, and others—managed these high-level political negotiations with their new American “old friends.” It follows the negotiating process step by step, and concludes with guidelines for dealing with Chinese officials.

Originally written for the RAND Corporation, this study was classified because it drew on the official negotiating record. It was subsequently declassified, and RAND published the study in 1995. For this edition, Solomon has added a new introduction, and Chas Freeman has written an interpretive essay describing the ways in which Chinese negotiating behavior has, and has not, changed since the original study. The bibliography has been updated as well.
 

About the Authors

Richard H. Solomon had extensive experience negotiating with East Asian leaders. As assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, he negotiated the first UN "Permanent Five" peacemaking agreement, for Cambodia, and led U.S. bilateral negotiations with Vietnam.

Solomon was president of the United States Institute of Peace from 1993 to 2012. He authored seven books, including Chinese Negotiating Behavior: Pursuing Interests Through "Old Friends" (USIP Press).

Chas. W. Freeman, Jr., has been a career officer in the U.S. Foreign Service, ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War, and assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. He was a fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in 1994-95 and is the author of Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy (USIP Press) and Diplomat's Dictionary (USIP Press).

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